Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot – FAQs

Q. What is the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot program?

A. The Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot is being administered by veski for the Victorian Health and Medical Research Workforce Project on behalf of the Victorian Government and the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. Funding for the Pilot has been provided by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

In support of the development of a 10-year government strategy to deliver a diverse, secure and highly skilled health and medical research workforce in Victoria, this targeted workforce support and development initiative supports the retention and development of outstanding emerging researchers and future leaders, and will jointly address equity, diversity and inclusion by supporting the careers of groups who face systemic barriers to success.

Up to eleven grants, each valued at $74,000AUD, are to be awarded for research to be delivered over a 12-month period (effective 1 July 2022) to eligible individuals undertaking medical research

Q. The applicant is currently a Chief Investigator on another NHMRC grant, are they eligible for this award pilot?

A. It depends…

Yes, applicants may be chief investigators on other grants or grants administered by the NHMRC (eg. state government, international, philanthropic, MRFF). Applicants need to provide a list of all other grants that they are chief investigators on as part of the application process

No, the applicant will be considered ineligible for the award pilot if they are a Chief Investigator A on any current NHMRC grant.

Q. Does the applicant need to provide evidence that meets the eligibility criteria?

A. Applicants will be required to provide the following evidence during the application process:

  • the 2021 NHMRC Application Assessment Summary;
  • the full 2021 NHMRC Investigator Grant EL2 submitted application; and
  • a Statement of Support from their primary employer.

Q. What is the responsibility of the applicant’s primary employer?

A. The primary employer of the applicant is responsible for providing:

  • a Statement of Support at the application stage [read requirements of the Statement of Support here]; and
  • to provide a financial acquittal of the program funding within one month of the end of the 12-month award period and demonstrate how the funding has supported the intended outcomes of the award.

Q. Is matched-funding a requirement?

A.  Yes. The primary employer of the researcher must provide matched funding of $74,000AUD as a cash contribution to support the researcher to achieve their intended outcomes.

Q. Are there any guidelines on how the funds awarded through the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot program can be spent?

A. The award pilot funding is flexible, it can be used to ….

  • assist the retention of emerging researchers in Victoria’s health and medical research workforce;
  • help emerging researchers recover from impacts to their research career from the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • help improve emerging researcher’s competitiveness for future funding opportunities from both government and non-government funding sources

Q. Can the $74,000AUD matched cash funding from the applicant’s primary employer be spent on the applicant’s salary?

A. Yes. Any cash contribution from the primary employer that supports the applicant and the program’s objectives, including contributions to the applicant’s salary is acceptable.

Q. Are there any guidelines on where the funds awarded through the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot program CANNOT be spent?

A. Funding should not be used for a facility or an administrative cost that would be provided by an institution in the normal course of undertaking and supporting health and medical research, including:

  • indirect costs and administrative overheads
  • land, buildings and fixtures
  • international students’ fees, Higher Education Contribution Scheme and Higher Education Loan Programme liabilities

Q. Who does the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot aim to support?

A.  The Victorian Near-miss Awards are provided to eligible individuals who narrowly missed out on the 2021 NHMRC Investigator Grant funding in the Emerging Leaders 2 EL2 stream that were found to be ‘fundable but not funded’, with a minimum category score of 6 and those who identify as any of the following groups:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples;
  • people with a disability*; and
  • women, transgender, gender diverse and non-binary people**.

All of the groups stated above have equal opportunity for this award pilot.

*See Australian Bureau of Statistics definition of disability
**See Australian Bureau of Statistics recognised terminology

Q. If the applicant identifies as a man, are they eligible for the Victorian Near-miss Award Pilot?

A. You are eligible if you also identify as a transgender man or belong to any of the following: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, people with a disability, or gender diverse and non-binary people.

Q. How do I obtain a Statement of Support?

A. A Statement of Support must be from your primary employer and signed by the person who is able to confirm the organisation’s financial support of the required matched funding ($74,000AUD) for example, your Head of Institution or Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Director, Dean, or Head of Department.

Should you need additional guidance in obtaining a Statement of Support, please contact your institution’s research office.

Please also read the EOI/Application Guide page for more information to understand what the Statement of Support needs to include.

Q. How is the applicant’s personal information going to be used?

A.  In support of the development of a 10-year government strategy to deliver a diverse, secure and highly skilled health and medical research workforce in Victoria, this targeted workforce support and development initiative supports the retention and development of outstanding emerging researchers and future leaders, and will jointly address equity, diversity and inclusion by supporting the careers of groups who face systemic barriers to success.

Applicants, awardees and primary employers agree to provide information for evaluation as required for the pilot program. Some information will be reported to the project partners, but specific and identifiable information will not be made publicly available. Please note – personal information will not be disclosed to any other external party without your consent, unless required or authorized by law.

If you wish to alter any of the personal information you have provided to veski, please send an email to [email protected].

In developing this pilot, the team at veski has been mindful of sensitivities around the language we use and how we request information from you and we sincerely hope we have not caused offense. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we might look to improve this please get in touch via [email protected] If you should feel aggrieved in anyway through undertaking this application, you can raise your concern to [email protected]

We will endeavor in the first instance to take any steps necessary to resolve the matter within a week. If we are not able to do so, we will ask you to submit your complaint in writing.

In most cases, we expect to investigate written complaints and provide a response within 30 days of receipt. If the matter is more complex and our investigation may take longer, we will contact you and tell you when we expect to provide our response.

If you are not satisfied with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.